“Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad, who keeps us in life and does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net...we went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance” (Psalm 66:8-12). We can praise & bless God in and after difficulties because we see He both brought us into them & delivered us out of them for the glory of His ultimate purpose. God is not surprised by “the net,” or the “fire and...water.” Through it all He “keeps us in life” securely, refining us & finally bringing us to His “place of abundance.”
From this “place,” the Psalmist remembers his faith in trial: he promised to worship God at the “place of abundance” (the LORD’s house) even while in the midst of trial. “I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings; I shall pay You my vows, which my lips uttered and my mouth spoke when I was in distress” (66:13,14).
Worshiping God following the trial includes calling others to corporate praise & testifying to His mighty deeds: “Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul” (66:16). The content of the “sermon” is that God hears the prayers of the faithful in the midst of their trials & is worthy of praise: “I cried to Him with my mouth...certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me” (66:17-20). It’s not just a sermon for the local congregation; it’s a call to go and tell on mission: “...sound His praise abroad...”
Live in faith this day, trusting that both the “net” and the “place of abundance” are God’s plan & make Him worthy of our prayers, promises, & blessings. Our experiences in the “net” & “place of abundance” become our sermons to the saints in the LORD’s house. May the LORD write sermons exalting His faithful lovingkindness in your life this week!